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Chord Electronics, one of the world′s leading manufacturers of
high-performance hi-fi products, has launched a new multi-function
192kHz-capable USB DAC, the QuteHD. This surprisingly affordable
newcomer, which offers a range of bespoke DAC technologies taken from
the acclaimed QBD76HD, is the latest edition to Chord Electronics′
beautiful high-performance boutique range, Chordette. With its
incredible sonic performance, custom DA conversion technology and
cutting-edge DSD-over-USB functionality, the new QuteHD really can be
described as the ‘ultimate′ USB DAC.
The QuteHD is a high-quality, super-high-performance D/A convertor that, for the first time, offers Chord Electronics′ world-renowned proprietary DAC technology for under £1,000. It also brings the brand′s legendary build
quality, exemplary audio engineering and renowned service and backup department to a new audience who have, perhaps, only ever aspired to Chord Electronics ownership. QuteHD brings exceptional detail-retrieval,
insight and transparency to audio systems, thanks to its bespoke circuit design implemented by Chord Electronics′ internationally renowned engineering team.
The QuteHD is fully future-proof - even for the most adventurous computer audiophile - and is ready to take advantage of today′s advanced studio-master-quality music files. It can handle sample rates from 44.1kHz to
192kHz (and up to 384kHz on SPDIF), allowing users to experience music in true high definition, along with the best possible reproduction of CD-quality music. The QuteHD benefits from an advanced 192kHz-compatible
USB input and can also bring sparkling clarity to any connected component with a digital output thanks to two additional digital inputs - coaxial and optical.
In addition to standard PCM files, the QuteHD can also process DSD data using the latest DSD-over-USB support, making it the world′s first affordable DSD-compatible USB DAC. Whether using Mac OS or Windows OS, Chord Electronics′ own proprietary driver software is provided, removing the restrictions
of current operating system audio playback.
The Chord Electronics QuteHD
Robert Watts′ expertise for less than £1,000!
Redefining sonic performance in the sub-£1,000 (and beyond) DAC category, the QuteHD showcases the unique talents of Chord Electronics′ Robert Watts, whose state-of-the-art, world-class proprietary FPGA
technology lies at the digital heart of the device and allows capabilities far exceeding that of normal commercial DACs. The custom-designed FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) incorporates all of the functions required
of a DAC: SPDIF decoding; Isochronous USB timing and Digital PLL; WTA interpolation filtering; DSD over USB support and finally, the Pulse Array DAC. The ‘HD′ USB input benefits from its own separate FPGA and
features asynchronous USB technology, isolating the digital clocks from the computer. Each sample rate clock is generated discretely using highly accurate crystal oscillators for optimum performance and ultra-low
Simple to set up and a doddle to use, the QuteHD shares the same bomb-proof build quality and stunning aesthetics that have helped make Chord Electronics famous around the world, and just like other members
of the Chordette range, the QuteHD benefits from a one-piece aluminium chassis that has been milled from solid billet. Complementing the elegant design is a top-mounted ‘porthole′ that gives users a intriguing insight
into the internal circuitry and changes colour with differing incoming sample frequencies.Exceptional sound quality has been achieved by Chord Electronics′ highly accomplished engineering team,
thanks to their world-renowned expertise with D/A conversion and DAC production. Like all Chordette boutique products, the QuteHD can be complemented with a matching rack or carry case.
QuteHD technology details SPDIF decoding The QuteHD is an all-digital design and allows operation from a single SPDIF connection from 32 kHz to 384 kHz. Due to unique features in the design, reliable operation with 192 kHz from Toslink optical is possible.
This allows better sound quality, as the benefits of optical (lower RF noise giving lower noise-floor modulation and hence smoother sound) is obtained, without the detriments of poor jitter and errors from optical.
Isochronous USB and Digital PLL Isochronous USB operation eliminates jitter from the transmitting computer, as timing is controlled by the QuteHD. With SPDIF sources, the effect of incoming jitter is virtually eliminated by use of a unique Digital
PLL. This has a very long time constant of 1.5 seconds, so the incoming jitter is effectively removed. The benefit of this is no measured degradation with huge incoming jitter levels and a smoother, warmer, more
natural sound quality.
WTA interpolation filtering
For a product of modest cost, the QuteHD has huge DSP capacity. 10 parallel DSP custom-designed gatelevel cores are employed, to give a third-generation WTA filter of 10,240 taps. This improved algorithm, which
attempts to much more accurately reconstruct the original timing of the transients for the recording, gives much better bass definition, a better sense of timing and rhythm, and a much more accurate and precise
DSD over USB support
The QuteHD supports DSD over USB. Moreover, the challenge of filtering the DSD has been carefully done; extensive filtering of out-of-band DSD noise is accomplished without any audibly degrading decimation, as
the Pulse Array DAC directly handles the DSD data.
Fifth-generation Pulse Array DAC
The QuteHD employs a four-element Pulse Array DAC. Although it is simpler (by employing four elements) than previous Pulse Array DACs, it enjoys the benefits of Pulse Array performance compared to other
DAC conversion technologies. These benefits include: very high low-level signal resolution; very low jitter sensitivity; no noise floor modulation; no anharmonic distortion harmonics, and very low harmonic distortion
with analogue characteristics. The analogue section has been carefully designed to be as simple and direct as possible, thus ensuring transparency.
|Specificatii||Harmonic distortion: 103 dBV
Signal-to-noise ratio: 115dBV
Dynamic range: 118dBV
1 x USB HD with DSD decoding, 44.1 kHz to 192kHz, 16-32-bit (future 384kHz-ready)
1x Coaxial 44.1 kHz/ 384kHz-ready, 16-32-bit
Outputs: 2x RCA phono
Power supply: 12v 1A 2.1mm connector. Centre point positive 100V- 240V − 50/60Hz, 1A wall adapter
Dimensions: 160x70x40mm (WxHxD)